As voters make way to booths, we take a look at the elements involved in the Maharashtra Assembly Polls 2019 Social media Strategy.
After weeks of passing by political hoardings, listening to jingles that nudged them to vote and walking out of supermarkets with the election date stamped on bills, voters in the state are all set to vote their representatives in the Maharashtra Assembly Polls 2019. Maharashtra Assembly Polls 2019 Social media Strategy played an integral role.
Maharashtra Assembly Polls 2019 Social Media Strategy
While a major part of any political campaigning is about actually going and meeting people in person at rallies, a lot has been happening in the digital space too. Platforms have tried to make the process fairer and candidates have chipped in by adapting to the ways of the social media world. Government agencies too played a very important role in the process.
Various security and armed forces across the state were mobilised and deputed for elections. Glimpses of the progress could be seen in images shared by them in the online space. These updates helped encourage people to vote as well as assure them that the process will be fair and safe.
According to the Facebook Ad Library of Chief Electoral Officer Maharashtra, over INR 12 lakh was spent on advertisements between February and October 2019. Of this, INR 1.6 lakh was spent in the last week before the voting date — October 12 to 18.
A look at the ad repository makes it apparent that the intention has been to create voter awareness on Facebook and Instagram. Quite a few of these feature actor Madhuri Dixit Nene. Others include posters with pop-culture references. English and Marathi were used prominently.
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During Navaratri this year, an interesting series was run by the page in an attempt to connect with the relevant audiences. A woman sat in these creatives with the colour of the flower in hair changing according to the colour associated with the day. The copy was in Marathi, nudging people to vote. The series was run across social media handles.
Another prominent series run by the government in regards to voter awareness was with relevant influencers. With copies scribbled over creatives in Marathi, the communication was crisp and emotive.
The influencers included Gauri Sawant, Usha Jadhav, Smriti Mandhana, Prashant Damle, Nilesh Singit, Nishigandha Wad, Lalita Babar, Rahi Sarnobat, Virdhaval Khade, Mrinal Kulkarni and Madhu Mangesh Karnik.
Apart from being well-known in their respective fields, each influencer selected for the campaign is important to the state of Maharashtra too.
Madhuri Dixit Nene was the prominent influencer in the mix, followed by Sonali Kulkarni, who appeared in a video that talked about a mobile application and facilities for the PWD voters.
State-wide poll updates
The social media presence of Maharashtra Directorate General Of Information And Public Relations (DGIPR) was leveraged by the government to put across updates from the district level up.
These included efforts by the government to increase voter awareness, interesting ways in which people were participating the process and updates about government officials gearing up for the upcoming elections.
Messages and more
While the DGIPR has been active on major social media platforms, one of the most interesting paths undertaken by the team was to push out notifications via Telegram. A blog too has been maintained to document these updates.
While the effectiveness cannot be ascertained for sure, a quick scroll through the chat indicates that each message was viewed by an average of 3 to 10K people, depending on how old the message is. There are over 47K people who have subscribed to the Mahasmvad: Maharashtra Shasan on Telegram.
Along with sharing information about identification documents to take to the booth and the general rules to be followed, the Election Commission of India has also been disseminating selfie motivation to voters. For this, selfie zones are created outside polling booths and hashtags are rolled out. It's a finale for a huge campaign after all!
Do you feel these attempts by government agencies were successful? Do tell us your thoughts in the comments or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to hear from you!